Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. Today, we are looking at two of the latest Supreme Court decisions. I give you my thoughts in this newsletter about these First and Ninth Amendment cases. Let’s dive right in…
The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the abortion decision to the states, which is a Ninth Amendment move. You may or may not be celebrating the decision. I am listening to conversations with people representing both sides, even as I prepare to host a baby shower on Sunday for a 44 yr. old first time mother.
I would encourage you to read, listen to, and watch the reactions of a variety of people in the coming days. It’s guaranteed to be a real education.
As always, remember that when the name-calling starts, that person has no ideas to offer, just emotion. Try to listen for logic and reason. Go beyond emotion to challenge your own beliefs and grow stronger in them. Or, like someone I know, maybe for the first time, begin to think differently. 🇺🇸
Next, the religious liberty case…
What do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision this week to uphold religious liberty in the Carson v. Makin case? This affects all of us- religious, irreligious, non-religious citizens alike. In fact, the First Amendment is for all of those groups, so let’s discuss this decision.
I’m not a lawyer. I’m a citizen and an educator. I figure that we should be able to scan an official SCOTUS opinion and at least understand a few points. So, scan I did. I want to see how the Court arrived at it’s 6-3 decision, but my attention got diverted by several issues that we aren’t finding in the daily news.
First, why would the Court affirm that the State of Maine needs to subsidize all parents’ choices for schooling (as long as the school has the defined accreditations, and as long as there is no other available choice in the area)? Second, why should Maine subsidize Christian or other religious schools? The reason, SCOTUS decision points out, is because Maine cannot allow every school choice except the one the government deems unacceptable, even though the school meets all the requirements. This violates the Free Exercise Clause, which states “or prohibiting the free exercise (of religion) thereof.” A side note of interest: Maine is willing to subsidize parents who even choose overseas schools.
If SCOTUS agreed to allow religious discrimination in one state, other states would follow suit. That means your government could decide that your children will only be allowed to attend government schools with government curricula and spend your tax dollars to do as they wish, not as you, the taxpayer deem appropriate. This means that religious freedom would be for some, but not all.
Many think this would be a good idea. Keeping God as you understand Him out of any school is their preferred choice. However, that is a decision they are making for you, as if you could not figure out what is best for your family.
You don’t need to have religious education, but we do need to be a moral society to keep freedom. Religious schools teach things like honesty, respect, loyalty, care for one’s neighbor, etc. These lessons are woven throughout the curriculum in the same way that secularism is woven through school lessons today. We all have seen the fruit of lawlessness in several states and how that affects the freedom of others. So, why not allow parents to choose a school that promotes what they teach at home?
In a day and age where we all want choice, some want God out of the picture. They are afraid that these sectarian students will spread “their gospel” to others. I, and many other parents can assure you, that a religious education does not guarantee that the child will grow up to be religious. These students may reject their religious roots, but generally they pay their taxes, obey the traffic laws, respect their country, take care of their elderly parents, pay child support, etc. These virtues were encouraged in their schooling. Learning unselfishness promotes peace as opposed to “every man for himself” behavior.
SCOTUS’ decision to uphold the First Amendment and religious freedom in Carson v. Malkin is a good thing for the general welfare of all Americans.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸